It's not uncommon for pregnant women or their significant others to be concerned about sex during pregnancy. Fortunately, unless your doctor's advised against it, generally sex during pregnancy is OK and even healthy. That being said, there are still a few things that happen in pregnancy sex that you shouldn't ignore.
As with anything during pregnancy, it's important to listen to your body and take note of any uncomfortable or painful signs it may be showing. Sex during pregnancy isn't abnormal and doesn't have to cause pain; however, according to My Pregnant Health, pregnancy sex can feel a bit weird, uncomfortable, or overly sensitive at first. And that's totally normal. As you progress through your pregnancy, you can easily find new positions and grow more comfortable with sex and your changing body.
It's also important to realize, going into your pregnancy, that sex may not feel the same to you physically or you may not feel the same about sex. If you continue feeling uncomfortable or start noticing some abnormal symptoms during or after sex, it's always a good idea to mention it to your doctor during your next check-up. Additionally, if you experience some of the symptoms listed out below during sex, consider reaching out to your doctor to get further advice.
1. Constant Uncomfortableness
In an interview with Parents, OB-GYN Dr. Lauren Streicher said, in a healthy pregnancy, "there's no reason to refrain from intercourse, as long as it's comfortable." Streicher's general rule of thumb is finding ways to stay comfortable and realizing that may be challenging at first. If you find your overly uncomfortable during sex, it's important to acknowledge it, try different positions, and maybe even slow things down a little bit. It's always a good idea to listen to your body, especially during pregnancy.
2. Extreme Or Prolonged Abdominal Pain
In an interview with Romper, birth and postpartum doula Samantha Moore of The Doula Girls says that pregnancy issues during sex aren't always black and white – a lot of it is intuition. She adds that her main concern would be experiencing extreme and prolonged abdominal pain. And if this does occur during or after sex, it's very important to reach out to your doctor immediately.
Do keep in mind it's not uncommon in the third trimester to experience some cramping after orgasm, according Baby Center. This should subside, however, within a few minutes.
During sex, it's totally normal for your cervix to get slightly irritated and potentially cause you to experience a "tinge" of bleeding, according to The Bump. If you're noticing lingering or heavy bleeding, however (especially in connection with intercourse), it's important you contact your doctor immediately. Know when you should see a doctor if you're spotting during pregnancy and take note if it's happening a lot during sex. It could mean there is an underlying or preexisting condition to explore.
4. Lack Of Sex Drive
Although lack of sex drive poses no immediate threat and is pretty common among pregnant women, it's important to acknowledge it if you continue feeling uninterested or negatively during sex. According to the aforementioned Parents article, it's perfectly normal if you're not feeling sexy. But as OB-GYN Dr. Farzaneh Sabi mentioned in an interview with Everyday Health, symptoms of depression during pregnancy can be subtle. If you notice extremely low libido in addition to symptoms like lack of concentration, low mood, insomnia/fatigue, and feelings of helplessness, talk to your doctor or reach out to a professional to be safe.
As a general rule, sex during pregnancy is not something to worry about unless your doctor has specifically said otherwise. Actually, there are lots of benefits to having sex during pregnancy. If you're in the mood, go for it – but remember to listen to your body and pay attention if you experience the symptoms listed above.